Creating the Bottom-up Organisation from the Top: Leaders as Enablers of Workplace Innovation

Part of the Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being book series (AHSW)


Workplace innovation enhances economic performance and quality of working life simultaneously. Yet successive surveys show that its adoption rate is slow. In many European countries there is little infrastructure to support the adoption of workplace innovation, often despite a long history of poor productivity and skills utilisation. Enterprise leadership therefore plays a critical role in determining whether or not workplace innovation practices are adopted. Three selected case studies illustrate journeys towards workplace innovation from different starting points. They demonstrate how a consistent approach to shared and distributed leadership can stimulate employee empowerment and initiative from the bottom up, as well as the cumulative impact of small incremental changes.


Distributed leadership Workplace innovation Culture change Empowerment Employee-driven innovation 



The authors and publisher gratefully acknowledge the following permission to use the material in this book: Peter Totterdill & Rosemary Exton, Creating the bottom-up organization from the top: Leaders as enablers of workplace innovation. In: European Work and Organizational Psychology in Practice. Special issue on Workplace Innovation, 2017, Volume 1, 73–87.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Workplace Innovation Europe CLGDublinIreland

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